Baton Rouge Film, TV, Theater & Music Industry Meetup Group Message Board › From Susie Labry Good Debate RE LA Film Industry Tax Credits

From Susie Labry Good Debate RE LA Film Industry Tax Credits

Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Thank Dan McCrory, Cori, Heater, and Mari, as well as Ben Balser for Participation:

THE DEBATE:

My personal reply to Ben Balser is 3 Attachments: Economic Impact Report by LED, 2. Fact Sheet and the LFEA Video along with Dan McCrory’s reply.

Dan McCrory’s Comment on Facebook: https://www.facebook....­
Dan McCrory
JULY 5th Today at 2:31 PM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

These are my thoughts in regards to the recent article about Duck Dynasty published by Nola.com.

In my opinion, Duck Dynasty benefits Louisiana the most out of all film productions in the state because A....) The stars of the show live in Louisiana and pay income taxes to the state. B.) They own several businesses whose profits have increased dramatically and directly as a result of their show. The Duck Commander business alone has paid back any Louisiana tax incentives given to the show from the state and will continue to do so for many, many more years to come.

I did some research about the Duck Commander business this morning and this is what I found:

Revenue for the Duck Commander business alone was at $40,000,000 in 2012, the first year the show aired. At a state tax rate of about 8% this means that the government received $5,000,000 just from their business in 1 year. I haven’t been able to find what the company’s sales were prior to the show but it’s a fair assumption that the show increased revenue very dramatically considering that their show is a half hour national advertisement for their business. (source: http://en.wikipedia.o...­ & http://www.nolo.com/l...­ )

According to a recent article published by Nola.com ( http://www.nola.com/n...­ ) the show will receive about a $6,000,000 tax break over 3 years from Louisiana film incentives. Based on the tax rate of their business the state will receive nearly 3 times that amount back just from the Duck Commander business. Not to mention any taxes paid by their Buck Commander business and personal taxes paid by each of the show’s stars, tourism, merchandise, etc. Merchandise apparently will make a very large impact in the taxes paid by the show’s stars b/c merchandise sales were at $400,000,000 in 2013 (source: http://en.wikipedia.o...­ ). It really depends on what percent, albeit if any, of the merchandise sales go to the Robinson family but considering that they recently renegotiated their contract with A&E I would expect a good amount of money is being made by the family from that also which translates into more taxes for Louisiana.

Sincerely,
Dan McCrory

On Sat, Jul 5, 2014 at 7:47 AM, Dan McCrory wrote:

In my opinion, Duck Dynasty benefits Louisiana the most out of all film productions in the state because A.) The stars of the show live in Louisiana and pay income taxes to the state. B.) They own several businesses whose profits have increased dramatically and directly as a result of their show. The Duck Commander business alone has paid back any Louisiana tax incentives given to the show from the state and will continue to do so for many, many more years to come.


I did some research about the Duck Commander business this morning and this is what I found:

Revenue for the Duck Commander business alone was at $40,000,000 in 2012, the first year the show aired. At a state tax rate of about 8% this means that the government received $5,000,000 just from their business. I haven’t been able to find what the company’s sales were prior to the show but it’s a fair assumption that the show increased revenue very dramatically considering that their show is a half hour national advertisement for their business. (source: http://en.wikipedia.o...­ & http://www.nolo.com/l...­ )


According to a recent article published by Nola.com ( http://www.nola.com/n...­ ) the show will receive about a $6,000,000 tax break over 3 years from Louisiana film incentives. Based on the tax rate of their business the show will receive nearly 3 times that amount back just based on their Duck Commander show alone. Not to mention any taxes paid by their Buck Commander business and personal taxes paid by each of the show’s stars, tourism, merchandise, etc. Merchandise apparently will make a very large impact in the taxes paid by the show’s stars b/c merchandise sales were at $400,000,000 in 2013 (source: http://en.wikipedia.o...­ ). It really depends on what percent, albeit if any, of the merchandise sales go to the Robinson family but considering that they recently renegotiated their contract with A&E I would expect a good amount of money is being made by the family from that also which translates into more taxes for Louisiana.

I hope this helps.
Sincerely,
Dan McCrory

Susie Labry
JULY 5th Today at 3:21 AM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Ben Balser left the meetup, and quickly responded as such below, and complained that we "bashed" him as per below. Ben has been a beloved and highly admired dear friend of mine, whom I had bragged on all the time. He has a right to disagree, and like all my friends, we have agreed to disagree on many issues in and out an to hold respect for those who do, as well as respect our Opponents when they come to address us. He called me an evangelist, which I thought was precious/cute even tho it was not meant as a compliment in his first reply and then later in paragraph says I "bashed" him. I always loved this man and spoke well of him and liked him a bit too much going around and mentioning he is a genius, which he is, and was one of our best Speakers to our meetup. I was thankful to have this man around and now broken because he wants to part our friendship. It is ok for him to leave meetup, which is his right to do so, but to accuse me of bashing and deluding was not right as I did everything I could to be a loyal friend to his man. We have a right to disagree with him, too, and we all here have done so with respect and love.

I appreciate and thank Cori, Mari, Heather, and Sherry for their support and replies. I have this thread open because we need to get the information out to our Membership and those in the community what is going on regarding the Effort. I appreciated Ben replying and letting me know his stand, but did not like him accusing me of bashing him. I am sad that Ben did not take the time to see Theirs and my Replies, which was all meant to help and inform him.

I want to make it clear to Ben that Ben has a right to ask a question and to ask, expect, and get the documentation from me, which I expect as he was asking for something he needed to inform him. I was very cooperative and glad to get him the 3 pieces in my replies: The LFEA Video https://www.youtube.c...­, Fact Sheet and Video, and the Impact Study. And so do we have that right, too. Instead he replied as below:

***

Susie Labry
JULY 5th Today at 1:44 AM
To filmind-228@meetup.com
Attachments
• Louisiana Film Industry Fact Sheet 8 12 by LFEA.pdf
Download All

Sherry,

This is a little video produced by Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association: louisiana film & entertainment association 640x360

There are other documents out, too, such as a short fact sheet and a whole document. Shared all 3 to the Legislators and to the community.

Hope this helps let me know.


louisiana film & entertainment association 640x360


View on www.youtube.com
Preview by Yahoo



Sherry Verdel
Today at 1:33 AM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Is there any way someone can work with the film office and with the State to create a powerpoint that shows some of the numbers, as well as the secondary businesses that gain, to break it down in layman's terms for people who don't understand? I'm not the right person to create something like that because I don't have the experience with the credits (although I do understand that bringing industry into the state and making a percentage of the taxes is a benefit for Louisiana), but I would love if we had some kind of simple presentation that we can all share every time we're faced with arguments from people who are confused about how the industry benefits Louisiana. Just a thought. ...or if something like that already exists, can it be made available for all of us to share? Thanks!

Sherry

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 4, 2014, at 11:30 PM, Sherry Verdel wrote:
I agree. Keep it positive. I like the idea of sending thank you's. I don't remember which Reps. I contacted in March, but I will keep the advice in mind and stick with talking with supporters. I'm open to any suggestions for a collaborative effort. Happy 4th!

Sherry

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 4, 2014, at 12:06 PM, Susie Labry wrote:
Mari, exactly. Positive, organize/unite/fellowship, testify, focus, short, sweet, and appreciative.

We were some of the first to encourage Thank Yous and to thank our legislators after and off season. I pass by them and thank them and show them appreciation by telling all the work we got and that they do have impact. Springtime usually after Easter is when Session starts and we will alert. I urge everyone to join Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association who is our Lead in the effort to save and tweak our industry and credits.

You and All Yall are a great citizen activists. Right now is getting testimonies, thank yous, and getting to know all the incumbents, new legislators and assistants, and bureaucrats and keeping them in tune.

Exactly, Mari and Heather, this information and testimony needs to be shared to legislators, bureaucrats, and leaders in our community.

Susie
***
My Response to Ben Balser Removing Himself from Baton Rouge Meetup:
Susie Labry
Jul 4 at 10:57 PM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Mari, Ben has removed himself from the meetup. What he does he has a very successful business in Post Production, Consulting, Education as per his site: http://www.balserprod...­ and he teaches high tech classes at LSU. Thank you for your support and responses.

About him: Biography


Biography
Biography Music composer since age 7. Writer since age 12. Shot first video at age 15 with an 8mm wind up Brownie camera.

View on www.balserproductions.com
Preview by Yahoo



***

Rev. Mari H. Presedo
Jul 4 at 10:40 PM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Heather, I suspect that even some LSU classes, taught by certain professors, might not be as popular or even be in demand, without the presence of the film industry. Oh, yeah, let's not forget the smartphones, (which provide jobs), the better computers we all can't live without now because we're all constantly adding/editing pics and clips to reels. And the obligatory service calls. Yep, I can think of a lot of peripheral businesses we affect directly and indirectly. The tax incentives are a gift to us tax payers.

Regards,
Mari H Presedo
225-802-7030
MariPresedo@cox.net

***

FROM HEATHER BOYD

On Jul 4, 2014, at 11:43 AM, Heather wrote:
It shows your Louisiana heritage. It captures what Louisiana is & it is a great show.
Furthermore, there are companies starting up here that didn't have a chance to even exist when the film industry wasn't here. Looking online, you will find a plethora of them. This absolutely stimulates jobs & small businesses.
You are correct when you say there is no proof it doesn't show tourism. However, most people who reside in California are moving here. These are seasoned actors. We are not attracting any more tourism than we do for Mardi Gras or any item festival. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! This means we can continue to use tax dollars to support job growth for those who don't just work in the oil industry.
I have nothing against the oil industry. We are creating a clean industry.
A FUN ONE! An industry where the American dream can be a reality.
Where jobs are being created & renovations, construction are being stimulated by the individual instead of the government.
I will pay for the development of my people in this great state!
For instance, Jurassic Park producers / directors have renovated a location that was otherwise abandoned, in disrepair. Now, after production, we are going to have the pleasure of utilizing this facility for something that our families can enjoy in the years to come.
You just can't put a price tag on that.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO ALL!!!!

***
Rev. Mari H. Presedo
Jul 4 at 10:39 PM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Dear Ben,
I'm not sure what you do for a living, besides movies, but the auto dealerships where we bought our vehicles benefitted from the film industry, as do the restaurants we visit, the teachers whose classes we can now afford to take, the pharmacy where we buy sunscreen and mosquito repellent, the hotel we stayed at while working out of town multiple days, the lady that house sits and dog sits. All these people and services benefitted from money we earned working on films. These were things that we probably would have done without or not needed at all had it not been for the industry. I'm sure I can name more if I think about it but these were right off the top of my head.

Regards,
Mari H Presedo
225-802-7030
MariPresedo@cox.net

Ben’s Answer to Me: BBalser
Jul 4 at 1:09 PM
No, they are being given money as welfare. No business is taxed 100%. All Louisiana businesses except oil and film are paying full taxes and making profits. All legitimate businesses pay back themselves. I run two, and they do. Employees, vendors, clients, etc, do not equal the same amount of money we allow films to NOT pay in taxes that other Louisiana businesses have to pay. And reality TV, especially Duck Dynasty, makes a MUCH GREATER profit margin than any other Louisiana business, besides oil, who also get subsidies (a subsidy is welfare). YOU bash us, Susie, you do it all the time! NOTHING in your defense of movie/tv tax credits adds up when you do the actual math, scientific fact. Show me the numbers that prove these tax credits "help" Louisiana.
RE: [filmind-228] Fw: Doing the math on Duck Dynasty
Ben Balser
Jul 4 at 11:16 AM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Fact remains, Duck Dynasty gets welfare from the state, and then say welfare is wrong, and the number of Louisiana residents who pay state taxes who work for that show will never come anywhere close to making it up with their own income tax returns. Not to mention no one has ever come up with numbers to factually show that TV shows and films in Louisiana, getting billions of welfare dollars, actually simulate enough other business to pay back not only those billions of film welfare dollars, but to show a profit. Not one single study has ever shown this to be true. Yet there are evangelists who insist it is true based on faith, not numbers. Accounting based on faith ends up losing money, period.

It was stated, "I love how it conveniently leaves out any revenue made by the state in the form of tourism, housing, tax from merchandise etc, etc, etc."

Again, show me numbers, where is a study to factually back up this claim? Several studies have been done here and in other states, and show the tax incentives don't actually bring in as much as you claim. The film industry does not bring in tons of tourism. People don't come to see films made. No city has ever been shown to have an increase in tourism because a movie was made there. Show me the facts.

On a radio interview this past week, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development Stephen Moret was asked (by me) when the film/tv tax insitives will pay for themselves, or stimulate enough state wide growth to pay them back, and admitted that the tax incentives will never pay for themselves in any manner, they are an expensive and very precarious investment in returns we have no information to verify. So there you have it, the tax incentives may never be financially beneficial, from the horse's mouth.

So, there are no facts to back up wild statements that the state grows economically from the billions of dollars we give away as film industry welfare. Not a single piece of solid, factual information. Just speculation based on made-up fantasies about economics that do not mathematically add up.

Those of us who simply question the realities of tax incentives and film industry welfare, are chastised by you evangelists for asking simple questions of numbers, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of blind faith. Again, show the numbers to backup your claim, and stop bashing folks like me who ask legitimate questions.

Duck Dynasty does NOT in any way, form, or shape pay the state back for the tons of welfare money the cast gets from the state, that is does in any manner is simply a fantasy that the numbers don't back up. Why not run it like a regular TV show, and let it support itself off of advertising and sponsors? What is wrong with that? Why should MY tax dollars support rich folks I never watch or care for? "I" don't get any return on that, do I?

Put you money where your mouth is, show me some factual numbers, show me factually in reality how Duck Dynasty's welfare checks help me as a Louisiana citizen?

-Ben Balser

Susie Labry
Jul 4 at 2:39 AM
To filmind-228@meetup.com
Exactly, Mari. Contacting Opponents could be fatal. Keep positive, short and sweet, and unite. Start now to keep in touch with State Representatives and State Senators. Keep them abreast of our work. Springtime is Session, and we will be there in droves in person and/or virtually. Prepare now and start organizing our troops. Thank you, Mari, great advice. Thank you.

Rev. Mari H. Presedo
Jul 4 at 2:34 AM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

I would NOT contact the LBP. I would start getting the email list ready to mobilize each time something comes up for vote. I would have the short letter ready for people to copy and paste with the email Addie's of their representatives. I would start attending session. Yeah- I know. But it's the only way. Ask Susie.

Regards,
Mari H Presedo

On Jul 3, 2014, at 9:56 PM, Sherry Verdel wrote:
Please say it loudly, Cori. I said it til my fingers nearly bled from typing in argument from the negative piece on nola.com in March. Say it in the forum where people can see it. I also wrote to the author of the article, to some of the State Representatives and to the Governor's office. We need more voices!
Sherry
On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:24 PM, Cori Morganson wrote:

Hi all,

I never talk but this one has me fired up.
I love how it conveniently leaves out any revenue made by the state in the form of tourism, housing, tax from merchandise etc etc etc. When will people learn? We are bringing in more money than sending out thanks to a booming film industry. Ugh some people are so short sighted.

What do we need to do?
Fw: Doing the math on Duck Dynasty
Susie Labry
Jul 3 at 3:08 PM
To filmind-228@meetup.com

Doing what you are doing now.

1. Join Louisiana Film & Entertainment Association, who keep us alert when things come up at legislature.

2. Get to know your State Representative and State Senator and keep them alert and constant contact via email, telephone, and/or personal visit as to your and others' successes throughout the year from now on til throughout session.

3. Also keeping alert with my postings here and Also follow me on Facebook. http://www.facebook.c...­ . Try friending me when I get drops as I have maxed. However you can follow me and keep up with my posts.

4. Attend meetings, rallies, parties, socials, filmfests, etc. to spread the word and to network.

Hope this helps, let me know.

Susie

From: Cori Morganson
To: filmind-228@meetup.com
Sent: Thursday, July 3, 2014 2:24 PM
RE: [filmind-228] Fw: Doing the math on Duck Dynasty

Hi all,

I never talk but this one has me fired up.
I love how it conveniently leaves out any revenue made by the state in the form of tourism, housing, tax from merchandise etc etc etc. When will people learn? We are bringing in more money than sending out thanks to a booming film industry. Ugh some people are so short sighted.

What do we need to do?
-- Original message --
From: Susie Labry
07/02/2014 4:21 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: filmind-228@meetup.com
[filmind-228] Fw: Doing the math on Duck Dynasty

FROM SUSIE LABRY: NO! This Monster is at it, nip 'em. Louisiana Budget Project is our only Enemy-Goliath, that we have to deal with. The LBP operates 24/7 and holidays, I do, too.

SOURCE: http://r20.rs6.net/tn...­
Louisiana Budget Project
Susie

From: Louisiana Budget Project
To: lasunshinebr@yahoo.com
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 3:48 PM
Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 4,388
FROM BEN BALSER:

>
> I have been asking this one legitimate accounting question for years, and no one has ever come up with the research numbers I'm looking for. Because of this one question, I get demonized. I've spent an immense amount of volunteer time teaching people of all ages skills to help them in the film/broadcast industry. I travel to California and New York for business quite a bit, and have always pushed Louisiana as a leader, even though I get bashed in those places as an ignorant southerner. One legitimate question, and I'm evil, and lies start getting spread about me. THAT is why Louisiana is in the sorry shape it is in. Our own citizens are too afraid to ask the hard questions, demand answers, and cut down hard working folks like me who have done more to promote this industry than either of you have put together. Why? Because my question frightens you? Fine, I'm the bad guy, I'm evil, don't work with me, no skin off my back. Bear in mind that I probably pay more in taxes to this state through my personal income and the two businesses I own than most actors ever will. I have a right to question how the state spends my tax dollars, and what future this state has for my young children. But if that isn't OK with you, fine, so be it. I hope you both have very bright futures, and that the state I was born and raised in becomes more enlightened soon.
>
> -Ben Balser
Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 4,389
From Susie Labry in Reply:

I like this reply from you, Ben. I want to express and express to the community that you do have a right and encouraged to ask, reply, disagree, and comment and it was written well. I am all for open forum with respect. What I liked about your reply is that you asked for the numbers in black and white, evidence, and to prove to you. I asked the same. I delivered 2 documents and a video, backed by the State. I encourage you to return and stay in meetup. Members love you and sad to see you go.

Loved what you said about those jumping with blind faith on a wagon. I am of the Southern Baptist culture who preaches check things out for yourself before you jump on board like a herd of blind sheep.

I do and did admit I bashed the La. Budget Project as a "monster" due to its size and strength, never you, and I gather that is what you were referring to, not the members of that group, then I apologized for that regardless of how I feel about their stands. In fact I am friends with many of the members and do agree on other issues. Dan, we reply quickly and in timely manner, but should wait first and think before I post.

As for the work you do, I mentioned in earlier reply, praised you for all the great work you do in your field and that there is not many of you in the industry, and encouraged people to take your class to enable them to get work, what a genius you were, and that you were one of the best speakers to our group. The members and I were impressed with your presentation, and sad you left the meetup, which I encouraged and glad you used to promote your classes.

Simply just use the term "out of state". Lots of people use the terms "North" and "South" loosely. When in Shreveport, they call New Orleans "down South". Shreveport is more South than New Orleans in culture even tho it is North, so those terms were used loosely.

Thank you for your immediate replies to me directly and those to meetup, that last reply is only one I forwarded, because it sounded it was meant for meetup as a reply. I encourage replies.

Around December after the Elections I may hold a Panel and will invite LBP and you on as Opposition and David and you/Dan, Pat, or the such as Proponents.

Susie
Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 4,390
FROM DANIEL MCMILLAN:
We need a show more worthwhile to stress / spam about?

MY REPLY TO DANIEL MCMILLAN:

Answer the questions now here so we will not have to go to Baton Rouge, cause confusion, and face the risk of losing the credits.

Bryan, Daniel, it is not spam.

It is our meetup, which I pay for and put in decades of work to bringing it to where it is not and you call us a spam. Spam is a one click to UNINVITED and UNWANTED solicitors outside market and inappropriate markets. It's our or rather my logo is SUNSHINE, TRANSPARENCY.

This meetup is formed to network and share information vital to our film industry and jobs, which we do thru email. It is a healthy debate about the Louisiana Film Industry Tax Credits and using a local film/tv show as example. Ben has every right to oppose the tax credits and it is a healthy debate, which helps people understand why some oppose and some support the Louisiana Film Industry tax credits. I rather see debate here at home and get questions like Ben's answered long before we go to Baton Rouge when it might be too late to ask with the risk of losing it by debating there causing confusion. We MUST go to Baton Rouge informed with evidence, numbers in black and white, which Ben expects and must have, which I provided, and another piece will be coming out later.

Answer the questions now so we will not have to go to Baton Rouge and face the risk of losing the credits.

You have a right to oppose the credits. It is not a requirement you support the tax credits to be in this meetup or to get work here in the industry. It effects our industry and state and you should take an interest in this and other issues effecting our state and industry. It is our jobs and our purse it effects.

That is what is wrong with this state, apathy, lack of interest in the issues, and I agree with you there is way too much mudslinging (me calling La Budget Project a "monster" due to its size and strength, and all that Ben has said, but Ben had some great points-PROVIDE THE PROOF!--which I like and expect, even tho I disagree with him on our stands on the credits, especially when he calls the credit a "subsidy" or "welfare". He has that right to get that proof, numbers, evidence, and citation. He expects this, I expect it, and the Legislators and those in Baton Rouge expect it or we lose our credits. I rather all this going on here in our own backyard and NOT BATON ROUGE.

Meetup has a mechanism where you can turn off the emails, go into Account Settings and turn it off! but why I don't know because the whole point of this meetup is to inform and to benefit you to keep you abreast of the going ons in our industry. It is a LOCAL tv show with Louisianians working in it and around it. If you think I need to discontinue the emails, let me know and why. Only difference it is like a paper or magazine but in form of emails. This info shared is very valuable and a lot of hard work was put into it by them and by us.

Bryan, Daniel, I was going to discontinue all the blasts and emails, but when I mentioned I was going to do that, the members arose and cried out please do not discontinue. I may consider charging dues but I said no, I want to have this for to benefit those like you, because many are looking for work. A lot of problems were solved by dialogs like these in the past when the scandals broke out and when Springbreak screwed a lot of people out of money, solving problems which could have caused outbreaks on sets, and answered a lot of casting issues and questions.

Apathy is not anything I condone or welcome. I encourage and thank you for questioning and asking for clarity.

Hope this explains and clarifies, let me know.

Susie
Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 4,391
FROM SHERRY VERDEL

Let me try it this way too:

I am the state. I have nothing. You come to me from somewhere else and decide to partner with me on an investment. You invest your money and pay me a dollar of it, which is what you owed me for using my state. I give you 30 cents of that dollar back. Now I have 70 cents. I didn't have it before, and I don't have it if you partner with another state instead of me. I am making money.

Here's another scenario. I'm a part of the infrastructure that is helping maintain the film industry here. I see that the above scenario is happening, and I know that more people are going to bring in more dollars, so I take out a loan to build a production studio, or a post studio, (you name it, any aspect of the industry). I have my 5 year plan made out, based on projected industry, to show that I'm expected to make a profit in the long term for my short term investment. Then suddenly the state decides to stop working with investors. The industry leaves for another state, and I go bankrupt. Lots of people go bankrupt.

We have a choice. We can keep supporting each other and building each other, and helping the industry grow, or we can cut each other out of business and watch our state revert into a bunch of empty buildings that have been confiscated by the banks.

I support the first choice.
Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 4,392
2ND REPLY FROM SHERRY VERDEL:

Okay, here are some of the thoughts I wrote on my facebook page. Sorry. I come from a family that was raised to invest and to be smart about it. I can't give you those numbers because I don't have the tax returns from a multi-million dollar production to share. But I have had enough sit down conversations with people who are crunching those numbers to believe with a fair amount of certainty that this is how it works:

We are not giving away money from the state. We are instead allowing productions who are pumping millions of dollars (new money) into our state to keep a portion of the taxes they would pay on the money they're bringing in. A 30% tax credit on a multi-million dollar production means that the state is making 70% of those taxes, which is a lot of new revenue for the state.

Some people have asked- "why do we have to offer anything? Why can't people just spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a production in our state just because they want to without us offering anything?" Ever wonder where those hundreds of millions of dollars to make a movie comes from? The film industry is an investment industry. We are sort of brokering stock. There are investors all over the country looking for the best place to invest their money. Making films is expensive, but if the films make more than they cost, then that's a good investment for anyone who bought shares in it ("God's Not Dead" just wrote the blueprint for succeeding at this). On the other hand, if the movie spends more than it returns, then it wasn't a good investment (like my US Airways stock a decade ago when they went bankrupt). So what the tax credits are designed to do is soften the cushion a little to make it more likely that the investor will end up with a net win ( and therefore continue investing in Louisiana- and yes, we get investors from all over the country). If a production succeeds at the box office, earning more than it spends, it's a win for the investors because they get back more than they put in, it's a win for the state because we get 70% of the taxes on this new money that has come into the state for the film, and it's a win for the local businesses who provided goods & services for the making of the film. That's our goal. For everyone to win. (And of course, it's a win for us as film crew because we love to make films.)

I can personally testify to the unbelievable growth I've seen in the 5 years since I moved to Baton Rouge. I moved down here because I heard there was some film industry thing going on and I thought I might find a writers' group. I went through watching most everyone I knew in the industry go through training but unable to find jobs, to watching most people in the industry work part-time but only on small productions, to where we are now- which is watching almost everyone I know in the industry working full-time including large productions. We are only going upward.

I'll say it like I said it in March to Nola.com. Drew Brees came here after Hurricane Katrina to bring industry to our state and help us rebuild. Brad Pitt did the same thing. So when Brees wins a Superbowl we throw a parade, paint the town black and gold, line up to meet them when their bus returns, and celebrate forever, but when Pitt wins an Oscar for a Louisiana film, we publish an article the next week in nola.com telling him to go back to California? Where is this double standard coming from? Both Brees & Pitt are running non-profits to help rebuild our state, and the productions are providing jobs. How many numbers do we have to see to understand that the state receiving a percentage of revenue that's coming in from industry that could be somewhere else common sense?

I'm sorry. I cannot provide other people's tax returns. But I hope eventually our state will understand that this is helping us.

Sherry
Susie L.
lasunshine
Group Organizer
Baton Rouge, LA
Post #: 4,393
FROM Dan McCrory

Today at 9:05 AM

ToBen Balser,
Susie Labry

But back to the original discussion, I assume that since the state does receive the tax information from the Robinson family that the government can look at it and look at the amount being given to the show and make a more informed decision than we can as to whether or not the tax incentives being given to the show actually benefit the state and our community. At least financially.

Dan

On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 9:01 AM, Dan McCrory <dandmccrory@gmail.com> wrote:

But even me saying that "people in the north" is stereotyping people in the north so I shouldn't say that. Not all people can be classified as any which way and that's why I try to keep an open mind. But I have experienced stereotyping first hand and know that not everyone is like that.

Dan

On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM, Dan McCrory <dandmccrory@gmail.com> wrote:

Not preconception but stereotypes. But that is an entirely different discussion altogether.

Dan

On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM, Dan McCrory <dandmccrory@gmail.com> wrote:

Mr. Balser,
The negative comments were everything that was said about Duck Dynasty to the MeetUp group before you left so that no one even had the chance to respond and discuss it with you. The problem with your argument and with getting an answer to it is that the amount of money given to the show has to be made public because it is tax payer money and the amount that the state receives back is personal information from the Robinson family that probably don't want their tax returns made public. So unless they were willing to tell the world exactly how wealthy they've become as a result of their show no one can respond to your questions and no study can be done because that is private information. Most people don't make their tax information public. I agree with what you said that people in the north like to look down on us because they think that were ignorant southerners and the show does perpetuate that perception of us but that is also why the show is brilliant because it takes advantage of that preconception.

Dan

On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 8:32 AM, Ben Balser <benb@bbalser.com> wrote:

I have been asking this one legitimate accounting question for years, and no one has ever come up with the research numbers I'm looking for. Because of this one question, I get demonized. I've spent an immense amount of volunteer time teaching people of all ages skills to help them in the film/broadcast industry. I travel to California and New York for business quite a bit, and have always pushed Louisiana as a leader, even though I get bashed in those places as an ignorant southerner. One legitimate question, and I'm evil, and lies start getting spread about me. THAT is why Louisiana is in the sorry shape it is in. Our own citizens are too afraid to ask the hard questions, demand answers, and cut down hard working folks like me who have done more to promote this industry than either of you have put together. Why? Because my question frightens you? Fine, I'm the bad guy, I'm evil, don't work with me, no skin off my back. Bear in mind that I probably pay more in taxes to this state through my personal income and the two businesses I own than most actors ever will. I have a right to question how the state spends my tax dollars, and what future this state has for my young children. But if that isn't OK with you, fine, so be it. I hope you both have very bright futures, and that the state I was born and raised in becomes more enlightened soon.

-Ben Balser

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